ARPL wins Dumfries design competition

The Hinterland submission by Gordon Flemming of ARPL Architects
The Hinterland submission by Gordon Flemming of ARPL Architects

The Glasgow Institute of Architects has selected ARPL Architects as the winners of a national competition to develop a new vision for Dumfries town centre.

Launched in March in connection with community arts body the Stove Network, the competition invited architectural concepts for the Midsteeple Quarter of Dumfries High Street which envisaged an innovative new approach to town centre living and being.

The competition sought innovative yet practical solutions with regards to the building fabric of the Bakers Oven and the wider urban block.

Placing town centre living at its heart ARPL’s approach aimed to bring new uses and footfall to the High Street and its wider context.

Hinterland 2In their citation the judges lauded the creation of affordable retail and craft spaces with learning and community spaces forming part of the mix.

It read: “A good architectural concept embracing affordable retail and craft spaces, learning and community spaces and viable residential accommodation. The scheme gave real consideration to the cross section through the urban block with a variety of typologies addressing each edge condition. The layering of typology allows for the housing in the core of the block that would feasibly attract a range of people, including families, to work, live and play in the town centre while business units activate the existing townscape with the utilisation of the High Street frontage for specialist local retailers.

“We thought the scheme promoted an urban archaeology to rediscover and utilise the heritage of the organically grown buildings of the back court of the block and that the lightweight additions create a new landscape and built form along the existing feu lines, but at a density and scale that is appropriate to Dumfries.

“We felt confident that the scheme would bring people and business to the area and would breath a new life and vibrancy to the mid steeple quarter.”

The entry from Andie Cooke, Megan Ward, Cara Brunton and Ashley Mitchell came in second place followed by Pioneer Landscape Architecture with Ryan Canning and Titas Grikevicius of Holmes Miller receiving a drawing commendation.

All 15 submissions can be viewed here.

The designs will be on display in the Stove Dumfries from 9th June and in South Block, Glasgow from 30th June.

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